• July/August 2018
  • Vol. 19, No. 6

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Connect: An Attachment-Based Program for Parents and Caregivers

Connect: An Attachment-Based Program for Parents and Caregivers is a 10-week group program for parents and caregivers of youth aged 8 to 19 who have serious behavioral problems. It seeks to reduce externalizing (e.g., acting out) and internalizing (e.g., anxiety/depression) problems and increase parenting and familial satisfaction, as well as parent-child attachment security, by promoting parenting sensitivity and introducing attachment principles.

The essential components of the training include the following:

  • A structured interview based on motivational interviewing with each caregiver that welcomes them to the program and addresses barriers to attendance
  • A discussion of developmental and trauma-informed attachment principle as it relates to preadolescent and adolescent development and caregiving
  • Role-play scenarios to illustrate the application of each principle and lead parents through a set of reflective questions designed to promote parental sensitivity and mutual respect during conflicts
  • Role-play scenarios for parents that allow them to take on the role of the child and reflect with the group on their feelings, thoughts, and behaviors in this role

This strengths-based program also has an adaptation for foster parents that focuses on trauma, attachment, and caregiving.

Two certified Connect group facilitators are needed to run this program. Training to become certified is available through a 3-day workshop and 10 to 12 hours of subsequent clinical supervision.

More information on the program, certification, and additional resources are available through the California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare website at http://www.cebc4cw.org/program/connect-an-attachment-based-program-for-parents-and-caregivers/detailed.


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